How much older do you get when a wrinkle appears on your face? Modifying age estimates by number of wrinkles

Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2010;17(4):406-21. doi: 10.1080/13825580903420153. Epub 2010 Jan 14.


The present study investigated the influence of wrinkles on facial age judgments. In Experiment 1, preadolescents, young adults, and middle-aged adults made categorical age judgments for male and female faces. The qualitative (type of wrinkle) and quantitative (density of wrinkles and depth of furrows) contributions of wrinkles were analyzed. Results indicated that the greater the number of wrinkles and the depth of furrows, the older a face was rated. The roles of the gender of the face and the age of the participants were discussed. In Experiment 2, participants performed relative age judgments by comparing pairs of faces. Results revealed that the number of wrinkles had more influence on the perceived facial age than the type of wrinkle. A MDS analysis showed the main dimensions on which participants based their judgments, namely, the number of wrinkles and the depth of furrows. We conclude that the quantitative component is more likely to increase perceived facial age. Nevertheless, other variables, such as the gender of the face and the age of the participants, also seem to be involved in the age estimation process.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Skin Aging*
  • Visual Perception*
  • Young Adult